Montreal manager blasts referee’s reversal of a PK decision

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In the end, referee Jorge Gonzalez probably got it right, overturning his own choice to award Montreal a penalty kick in the first half of the Impact’s loss Saturday to Vancouver. And getting it right should always be the bottom line.

Still, the timing of it all was awkward. The fuss was all about a Montreal Impact shot blocked on the goal line by Vancouver’s Jun Marques Davidson. A successful PK would in have leveled the match at 1-1 in the 38th minute.

Gonzalez awarded the shot, attempted to sort out the players (as per standard operating procedure) … but then consulted with his fourth official or the nearby assistant and reversed his choice after perhaps 30 seconds.

Davidson did appear to get more “front shoulder” than “arm,” although we are arguing about inches here.

Either way, Montreal manager Marco Schallibaum (pictured), who surely has already set some sort of unofficial record for league suspensions, blew his Swiss top over the whole thing. From the MLSSoccer.com account, here is what Schallibaum, speaking in French, told reporters at Stade Saputo after Saturdays’ loss:

To me, it’s a scandal. It’s a scandal, because he makes a decision and then, all of a sudden, it isn’t a penalty. It changed the game.

“For us, psychologically, the decision was nonsense. As a referee, you have to make decisions. You make a decision, and then it’s gone.

“There was influence from players, coaches and the fourth official. If he allows himself to be influenced, then maybe I should do the same next time around.

“[The fourth official] can’t influence a crucial decision like that. They go home, and we’ve got all that up our [expletive]. The guys in yellow have to take their responsibilities. We take our responsibilities every day. We got slapped around today because of that, and because we weren’t so good in the first half.”

Remember, this is a coach who has copped to being too rambunctious along the sidelines, having been suspended five times already by MLS this year for his fits — and having been spoken to by management about it. Apparently, it didn’t take.

The incident is at the 2:30 mark of the full match video package below.

It is significant to note that the replay, apparently, was not shown inside the stadium. So any assistance from the fourth official was coming from a set of eyes stationed much further away than Gonzalez, and without benefit of a replay (which are not allowed).

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VIDEO: Celtic’s 1st minute goal breaches PSG

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Celtic still have hope of advancing to the UEFA Europa League, but have a new feather in its cap regardless of whether they hold their table advantage on Anderlecht.

Moussa Dembele became the first UEFA Champions League player to score against Paris Saint-Germain, when he side-footed a first minute corner kick off PSG backstop Alphonse Aréola.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Neymar would score just eight minutes later to level the score at the Parc des Princes, but Celtic had its moment and PSG is no longer unbreached despite entering the match with 17 goals scored, conceding zero.

2017 CONCACAF Awards shortlist revealed

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The 2017 CONCACAF Awards shortlist is up, and fan voting counts.

Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, and Christian Pulisic are among the nominees for Men’s Player of the Year. Philadelphia Union’s Jamaican backstop, Andre Blake, is also on the list along with Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and others.

[ MORE: Big American Soccer Survey results ]

The Female Player of the Year is predictably American-heavy, with Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Julie Ertz, Megan Rapinoe, Sam Mewis, and Tobin Heath competing with a trio of international players.

Tim Howard is the only American up for Male Goalkeeper of the Year, though Blake is again in the running. The female side has American backstops Adrianna Franch, Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris, Jane Campbell, and Nicole Barnhart.

The full ballot, including Best XI, coaches, referees, and goals, is up for your votes here.

UCL: Chelsea advances vs. 10-man Qarabag (video)

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  • Chelsea into knockout rounds
  • Willian draws two penalties, scores two more
  • Hazard, Fabregas score

Willian scored two goals from the run of play and drew a pair of penalties in Azerbaijan, as Chelsea beat 10-man Qarabag 4-0 on Wednesday.

His second goal was a fantastic thump from atop the arc, and further iced the result in the 85th minute.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Qarabag hung tough for the first 20 minutes, but saw its odds of getting a point take a hit with a penalty and red card.

Rashad Sadygov made contact with Willian inside the 18, and Portuguese referee Manuel de Sousa awarded a penalty. That was understandable, but surprisingly he produced his red card to send Qarabag down a man.

Eden Hazard converted his low penalty, wrong footing keeper Ibrahim Sehic, and Chelsea took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute.

Willian would score a goal of his own in the 36th, part of a terrific team goal with Hazard and Pedro.

The Blues were largely content to let Qarabag have the ball early in the second half, but resumed control around the hour mark and Sehic made an outstanding stop on Hazard before substitute Alvaro Morata dragged a shot wide of the far post.

Willian drew a second penalty in the 71st minute, as Maksim Medvedev tugged on the Brazilian’s jersey on a dribble into the 18. Yellow card for this foul.

Cesc Fabregas scored but two Chelsea players infringed on the 18 thanks to the shooter’s stuttering — and stopping — PK. He finished the second as well as the first. 3-0.

Willian added the fourth with a vicious strike five minutes from the end of scheduled play.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

World Cup-bound Saudi Arabia fires coach Edgardo Bauza

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) World Cup-bound Saudi Arabia has fired coach Edgardo Bauza nine days before the draw.

The Saudi Arabia Football Federation announced the Argentine coach’s exit after only five friendlies in charge. The team lost to Portugal and Bulgaria this month.

[ MORE: Big American Soccer Survey results ]

Bauza has been fired twice this year by teams in the World Cup lineup. He lost the Argentina job in April, after eight months in charge, when the two-time World Cup champions risked missing out on qualification.

In September, Bauza was appointed by Saudi Arabia to replace Bert van Marwijk, who was fired despite leading the team to its first World Cup since 2006.

Saudi Arabia joins Australia without a coach for the World Cup draw in Moscow on Dec. 1.